Dr. Gary Matyas received his Ph.D. in biology from Purdue University and completed his postdoctoral studies in the laboratories of Peter Fishman and Roscoe Brady in the National Institute Neurological, Communicative Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health. His postdoctoral research and his Ph.D. studies were centered on the biochemistry and function of glycolipids.
In 1988, Dr. Matyas joined the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research as a research chemist in the Department of Membrane Biochemistry, Division of Biochemistry, which later merged with MHRP. The main focus of his research was on vaccines for various infectious diseases, using liposomes and transcutaneous immunization. He has studied liposomes as adjuvants for vaccines, including HIV, malaria, Campylobacter and COVID-19. He oversees the cGMP manufacture of Army Liposome Formulations (ALF) including ALF43 and ALFQ. Dr. Matyas’ research efforts on HIV initially focused on developing formulations for immunization that would induce antibodies similar to the broadly neutralizing antibodies 2F5 and 4E10, which bind to the both gp41 and membrane lipids. Together with MHRP collaborators, he demonstrated the monoclonal antibodies to lipids neutralized HIV and that vaccination with liposomes induced monoclonal antibodies that neutralized HIV and bound to gp41 and lipids. His HIV vaccine work continues to focus on producing antibodies to HIV. He has been funded for a comparative adjuvant phase 1 clinical trial that will study the effect of various adjuvants on DNA immunization and HIV-1 envelope protein boosts. The clinical trial is expected to start in the beginning of 2021 in Kenya. Dr. Matyas is participating in multiple clinical trails with ALF and ALFQ for HIV, malaria, Campylobacter and COVID-19.
In July 2012, Dr. Matyas was awarded the Avant-Garde Award for Medications Development from the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop a combination heroin/HIV vaccine. As part of this award and extended research, Dr. Matyas has developed an ALF-based vaccine that blocks the biological effects of opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. His heroin vaccine has proven effective in preventing overdose in animal studies and is funded for a phase 1 clinical trial.
Sulima, A., Jalah, R., Antoline, J.F.G., Torres, O.B., Imler, G.H., Deschamps, J.R., Beck, Z., Alving, C.R., Jacobson, A.E., Rice, K.C., Matyas, G.R. A Stable Heroin Analogue That Can Serve as a Vaccine Hapten to Induce Antibodies That Block the Effects of Heroin and Its Metabolites in Rodents and That Cross-React Immunologically with Related Drugs of Abuse. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. (2018) 61:329-343.
Beck, Z., Torres, O.B., Matyas, G.R., Lanar, D.E., Alving, C.R. Immune response to antigen adsorbed to aluminum hydroxide particles: Effects of co-adsorption of ALF or ALFQ adjuvant to the aluminum-antigen complex. Journal of Control Release. (2018) 275:12-19.
Alving, C.R., Peachman, K.K., Matyas, G.R., Rao, M., Beck, Z., Alving, C.R. Army Liposome Formulation (ALF) family of vaccine adjuvants Expert Rev Vaccines. (2020) 19:279-292.
Karch C.P., Paquin-Proulx D., Eller M.A., Matyas G.R., Burkhard P., Beck Z. Impact of the expression system on the immune responses to self-assembling protein nanoparticles (SAPNs) displaying HIV-1 V1V2 loop. Nanomedicine. (2020) 29:102255.
Singh, P., Bodycomb, J., Travers, B., Tatarkiewicz, K., Travers, S., Matyas, G.R., Beck, Z. Particle size analyses of polydisperse liposome formulations with a novel multispectral advanced nanoparticle tracking technology. Int J Pharm. (2019) 566:680-686.